Living with Carnivores

A vegetarian human's adventure with cats

Category: Affection

A Gift for the Distracted Human

Fireball hopped up on the bed for one of his many short visits and lay down on top of the human, who was reading. She petted him in a distracted manner and then went back her book as the Little Red Bee proceeded to roll his head, lick her hand and fingers, and mix on the lumpy human furniture. Then he was gone in a flash. It was only after Fireball had departed and the human moved and heard a strange rattle that she looked and found that he’d left one of his toy mice behind when he departed. Such a thoughtful little boy.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Cold-Weather Cuddles

It’s been pretty chilly of late and the human has been leaving the far-infrared heated mattress pad on all day for the kitties and all night for herself. When you combine that penetrating heat with the soft pink puff, it’s kitty heaven as Fireball and Mac recently demonstrated.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Tummy Tuck

Corky has rules — a lot of rules — and one of them is that the human is NOT allowed to touch his tummy.

Now, mind you, that doesn’t mean he doesn’t regularly roll up on his back and show his soft white tummy to the human.

It just means the human is in a “look but don’t touch” sort of situation and must be on her best behavior.

Recently, as the 2-legged was trying to make her way from her office to the kitchen, an energetic Corky was trotting a few paces in front of the human’s feet. He flopped down on the floor and started rolling around.

Shockingly, the human was allowed to approach and pet his tum tum. She’s happy to report that it’s as soft as it looks.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Prisoner Cat Receives a Consolation Prize

While Corky was recovering from his dental procedure and still in lockdown, the other kitties kept vigil outside the door to his room. The morning after he returned from the vet, the human found one of the kitties had thoughtfully brought a toy mouse upstairs and left it outside his door. <<<Awww!>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Fireball Chills Out with the Human

It was early morning and not quite the time when the human had to drag herself out of bed. She was laying on her side when Fireball came up for his early morning siesta. The 2-legged’s duty is to hold the blanket up (letting out all the nice warmth) and wait for the Little Red Lion to slide under, turn around a couple of times, and then stretch out on the human’s arm while the 2-legged tucks the blankets around him. Usually, that leads to lots of furious scrubbing of the human’s hand and fingers while she tries to avoid his rough tongue by petting him. A little foot dangling ensued while the now wide awake human tried to take pics from above.

Fireball usually only stays 15 minutes. He heard another cat hop up on the bed and that was his cue to be on his way.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Twinkie Twins

Mac and Fireball were chillin’ in the big pink puff when the human walked in. (Apparently, the Merkitty was feeling generous and decided to share the puff with the Little Red Bee.) The 2-legged started snapping photos in her usual annoying way.

Fortunately, no one was dangling their paws out of the puff, so the human and her camera posed little threat. (Note Fireball’s prehensile curled tail?)

A while later the human came back upstairs and found that the twinkie twins had changed places. However, this time someone had brought a little green mouse up on the bed and left it right beside the pink puff. Neither kitty looked like they were welcoming of attention, so the human left again.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Why Human Fingers Require Extra Washing

Everyone knows that humans are stinky creatures.

That’s probably because they have so much naked skin and also because they wash with soap and water. It’s clearly inferior to a spit bath.

Although it’s a thankless job, Fireball long ago took on the task of rewashing the human’s fingers and hands. In fact, he used to scoop up a finger in one of his soft little orange paws, clamp down with his claws, and scrub for all he was worth while the human howled in fits of laughter, since it tickled so much.

Fortunately, the human always tries to express appreciation after her bath.

Fireball feels satisfied about having contributed to the greater good of the human and household.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

The Inspector

Few appreciate the skills required and the responsibilities involved in being a box inspector.

First the outside must be completely sniffed. Then the inside must be completely sniffed. It’s important to know where the box originated and what it contained. How else can the house be kept safe?

Lastly, the box must be considered for its potential for sitting and snoozing. Is the bottom a bit springy? Do the sides have enough give to expand upon contact without collapsing? How hard will it be to turn around in and will all our body parts fit? This particular box, although a bit on the small side, does have potential.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Happy 7th Anniversary Corky & Pepe

The dynamic duo arrived at this house 7 years ago today. They definitely have stirred things up and kept things very interesting. Here they are chasing the laser dot amidst the pile of crackly papers, which are among their favorite playthings.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Happy 10th Anniversary Trio

A decade ago this afternoon, Caesar, Macaroni, and Fireball made the journey from their foster mom’s home to the new human’s. The poor kitties were so skittish at first, but eventually they figured out the two-legged was a big pushover and they could easily boss her around, which they’ve done ever since. While the trio is now a duo (with Caesar’s unexpected passing last October), Mac and Fireball are still a cuddle pair. Happy anniversary kitties!

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

‘Stache

The human walked by the bed, glancing in to see if anyone was in the big pink puff. Mac and Fireball were there.

From the angle the human first glanced at the cats, it looked like the ginger tabby had grown a black mustache.

Alas, it was just Mac’s whip-thin and long tail wrapped up, around, and front of the Little Red Bee’s face.

<<<The real questions is, what is the human going to do about it and do I need to prepare to make a hasty retreat?>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

How Did this Happen?

You’ll note that Fireball is cuddled up in the big pink puff and Mac is in an adjacent kitty bed. It doesn’t matter who is in one of the puffs when Mac wants to sleep there; she pushes her way in, often pressuring the other cat to leave. Hence, it puzzles the human that she is not in the puff. Regardless of who got to the puff first, it must be that Mac wanted to sleep in the other bed.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Twinkies in the Big Pink Puff

Fireball had been sneaking into the big pink puff more and more often when Mac was occupying one of the smaller puffs in another room. <<<If only I could figure out how to sleep in all of them at the same time!>>>

Finally, he must have gotten caught by the Mer Monster, who thinks all the puffs are hers and hers alone. Although the human did see her chase the little Red Bee out once — and then, in a pure Brat Cat move, she walked away and laid down in a different cat bed — more and more often, the human has seen them occupying the big puff together.

Perhaps she’s learned at last that it’s nice to share.

The puff is so large that easily two more cats could fit in there, not that Brat Cat would approve.

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Brother Boys Watch the Snow Fall

<<<After the zoomies, what else is there to do on a cold dreary winter’s day?>>>

(c) Copyright 2022, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Fireball can Only Get this Close to the Giant Puff

You can tell how well the sharing is going. The human woke the other morning to find Mac sleeping all by herself in the giant pink puff and Fireball sleeping in what now seems like a much more diminutive cat bed with his head resting on the side of the puff. Apparently, that’s as close as he’s going to be allowed to it for now. Brat Cat is back!

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

The Prisoners are Getting Restless

Mac and Pepe are healing up well from their little adventures on Tuesday and their pain meds have been dialed back accordingly. Pepe has been chasing a feather wand all over the bed, and Mac has been insistent on being held and cuddled while she attempts to do headstands in the human’s arms. With less medication keeping them subdued and sleepy, the prisoner cats, who have been isolated from the other two for three days, were starting to get bored and cranky. After clearing it with the vet’s office, and giving them their evening meds, the human set them free last night.

It was wonderous getting a really solid night’s sleep and not having to get up to check on them and dose them at odd hours, since their med schedules were a bit different. It also was sweet having all four cats taking turns cuddling with the human. (Corky and Fireball had spent a lot of time camped outside Pepe’s and Mac’s room this week wondering why they were in there.) At 4 am this morning, right about the time their evening meds would have been wearing off, the human awoke with Pepe on her chest and Mac on her head insisting they were hungry. Up popped the groggy human to dispense food, mix up meds, and dose her unwilling charges. Back for another couple of hours of sleep and then it was up for the day.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Tentative Paw Dangling

The kitties are back to paw dangling.

Here is Mac, the smirky one, with only a single paw part way out of the brown puff in what looks to be a tentative paw dangle.

It may just be that it’s gotten quite cold suddenly and it feels good to be warm — even those hot paws of hers.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Not Quite Hidden

Sometime this spring, Fireball figured out how to open up the closet door in the big bedroom. He’s been hanging out there for months, completely abandoning his usual haunts under the blanket draped over the stairs. He’s often been joined in the closet by Caesar, Mac, and even Corky. Not wanting him to lay on the hard floor, the human put the pink puff in the closet to Fireball’s delight. Lately, the human comes into the bedroom only to find a little red tail peeking around the edge of the door. The rest of the red kitty is in the pink puff completely oblivious to the fact that he’s not quite as hidden as he thinks. <<<Ah, cats!>>>

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

Almost Back

Thanks to all the kind people who sent their condolances.

Life without Caesar takes some getting used to, but this house is slowly getting back to some semblance of normalcy.

The human was really worried about Fireball, as he was inseparable from Caesar. He’s spent a lot of the last week hiding, but he’s beginning to come out again for pets and cuddles. In fact, he’s been vigorously chasing the laser dot around in the morning. And little toy mice are starting to leave the toy boxes and work their way around the house, so the kitties are starting to play again.

The other cats too are back to flopping on top of the human and demanding cuddles. Cranky Corky has been amping up his demands for earlier and earlier crunchy bowl fillings in the afternoon. And we’ve had a lot of paw-dangling action going on as well.

We miss you terribly, Big Guy. Thanks for 9-1/2 great years.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Images my own.

In Memoriam: Caesar Tiger Bear

Last evening, Caesar had a 15-minute episode where he suddenly started breathing very fast and shallow — as though he couldn’t get enough air in his lungs. Eventually, he coughed up a bit of mucous and seemed to be okay. He even curled around the human’s head and sang a song afterwards, until the 2-legged got too annoying by trying to pet his paws. He’d had an active day of eating, drinking, carrying toy mice all over the house, and demanding his daily dose of pets and brushings from the human. Just a day or two before that he’d been leaping in the air chasing the fishing pole and the laser dot and roughhousing with his brother. Hence, this sudden shift was as perplexing as it was concerning.

He had another episode at 4 this morning that was longer lasting and more severe. In fact, his breathing rate never really went back to normal. The human called around to find a vet appointment and finally snagged one for late morning. His bloodwork looked fine, but X-rays gave a diagnosis of cancer. There was only one good decision, and that was to say goodbye. We’re all devastated.

This human has known and loved a whole lot of furry people in the 6+ decades she’s been on this earth, but Caesar was one of a kind — as beautiful inside as outside, sweet, bossy, funny, and a force to be reckoned with when trimming claws or trying to get him in a carrier for vet visits. He was such a remarkable, vital presence in that 19 pound package. Always the first there to comfort an upset cat or human. Nine-and-a-half years was not nearly enough time together, but we’re grateful for every moment we had with him.

From the moment the human saw his photo on PetFinder (above), she knew he was the one. It seems only fitting to say goodbye with that image as well as one of the last the human took of him, paw dangling to the end with Mac. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Rest in peace, Big Guy.

(c) Copyright 2021, PeggyMalnati. All rights reserved. Top image, K. Pichler. Bottom my own.